Friday, May 30, 2008

Hagee quotes Tanach. Holocaust linked to Israel, Israel Kaplan and Yossi Baumol

Hagee, a prominent Pastor was rebuked for his remarks based on Tanach  linking the Holocaust to the Land of Israel. 
Among those that distanced himself from these remarks was McCain, the Republican candidate for President.  Israel Kaplan and Yossi Baumol have written in support of Hagee's comments from a Jewish perspective. (read till end of this email). Tanach is Tanach. Hagee is to be commended for his courage and conviction and for his willingness to state the Emes, truth even when it is not politically correct to do so.   
Isn't is a shame that it takes a Pastor to stand up with courage and publicly bring awareness to our Torah and we the Jews have been publicly silent. 
Many Diaspora Jews are silent because we say how can we Jews speak up while living in the Diaspora.   
The answer we must speak up for our Land even when we reside in the Diaspora.!  
Aliya (Sprititual Ascent) in the Diaspora:
My Place is in Eretz Yisroel and everywhere I travel, I travel towards Eretz Yisroel. (Rabbi Nachman of Breslev)
1. Recognize that Eretz Yisroel is your inheritance no less than your fellow brother living in Israel and whose sons are on the front line in the army.  Your obligations to keep the commandments are equal as your brothers in Israel.  Your brother living in Israel has the advantage that he is able to observe many commandments that you can't and he has the potential to reach greater heights in observing the commandments. 
2, Publicly proclaim your entitlement to Eretz Yisroel.
3,  Recognize and feel the pain of your disadvantage of being in the Diaspora and ease it by doing whatever you can to bring chizuk (strength) to the Yishuv (settlement) in Eretz Yisroel. There are no end of worthy  projects that need us to get involved in Eretz Yisroel with our hearts, our souls and our pocket books.
4. Do what you can in the PR war.  Every man, women and child can write a letter claiming our rights to Eretz Yisroel. 
How one can live in the Land of Israel but not quite be there:
1. Feeling that you are not entitled to the Land of Israel and that a foreign people are.
2. Not associating the Land of Israel as being a Holy Land or the Promised Land.
3. Scorning the Torah and the Mitzvoth
Israel Kaplan's letter to Pastor Hagee:
Hi Teresa Weaver (secretary to the Hagees)
Would like to send Pastor John Hagee a booklet called "Confronting the Holocaust".   Due to the current news item regarding Presidential nominee John McCain distancing himself from Pastor Hagee, I felt that it just might be timely to send out to him articles on how in fact Jewish writings support the connection between the Holocaust and the rebirth of the Jewish Homeland, Israel.    A copy is being sent as well to John McCain with a letter recommending that he read the material and to think long and hard about reversing his major blunder distancing himself from Pastor Hagee's support.   We are of the opinion that he was ill advised on the matter.  To us it is offensive that he used Pastor Hagee's statement on the Holocaust which shows that his advisors are either ignorant or are so immersed in the political gains or losses that they totally disregard the religious foundations of Judaism.
Thank you.
Izzy Kaplan
Toronto Zionist Council VP

Hagee, Holocaust & Hebron

By Yossi Baumol


G-d certainly didn't "cause" the Holocaust. It was a group of horrid monsters headed by Hitler who caused it by exercising their free will in the worst imaginable way. In addition, it is difficult to bear hearing anyone confidently speak on behalf of Divine Providence.


Yet the fact is that an all powerful G-d did allow the Holocaust to happen. The fact is that others have spoken in His name just as confidently.


Many people have risen up to castigate Rev. John Hagee for saying that the reason Divine Providence allowed the Holocaust to happen was so that the Jews should go back to the Land of Israel.


Would a Jew say such a thing?


Just by accident, let's take a look at "B'Chukotai" - the Torah portion read the week this story broke on the Huffington Post website. Rabbi Meir Simcha of D'vinsk wrote in 1925 on Leviticus (26:44):  The Jew, in general, will forget from whence he came…He will think that Berlin is Jerusalem… Then a tempestuous wind will come and uproot him from his trunk… Then he will realize that he is a stranger, that his language is our holy tongue, that foreign tongues are like temporary garments, that his origins lay in the Jewish race, and that his consolations are those of HaShem's prophets, who prophesied about the stem of Yishai at the End of Days.


In his revived sermon from the 1990's, Rev. Hagee said that the passage in Jeremiah regarding fishermen and hunters refers to Herzl & Hitler. How far off is he from the following Jewish source? "For there are two ways to acquire an animal: call it and it follows after him, or strike a stick and it runs before him. And thus we have to ascend to the Land of Israel of our own accord, and not to wait until Hashem strikes us by means of a stick (Em Ha-Banim Semeichah pg. 88, written by Rabbi Yissachar Teichtel during the Holocaust).


Anyone else?

There are dozens of the most highly respected Talmudic scholars who concur with this view and they can be found in Chapter 2D of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner's book, "Shelo Yaalu B'Choma", translated into English by Rabbi Mordechai Friedfertig which is quoted at length at the end of this article.


The fact is that most of the Torah portion we read last week deals with this prediction. Despite the horrors of the Diaspora, the Torah promises us that we will not be totally destroyed while in exile:  "And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: (Lev 26:44).


The source of our strength, the source of our protection lies in Hebron, as is stated two passages earlier: "Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land."  




Excerpts from Chapter 2D of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner's book, "Shelo Yaalu B'Choma", translated by Rabbi Mordechai Friedfertig


…3. And the great authorities of Israel already wrote that it is forbidden to remain in Exile when there are also evil decrees, they include the Rambam:[100] That those who abstain from this [ascending to the Land] they are "violators and cause others to sin," the Ralbag,[101] and the Magen Avraham:[102] that furthermore are "liable to the death penalty," and this is also implied from the words of the Ramban.[103]

4.  And the great authorities of Israel similarly wrote that the purpose of the suffering of the Exile is to awaken us to ascend to the Land of Israel - and this is similarly in the Midrash[104] - they include the Chatam Sofer,[105] the author of the Arba'ah Turim[106] and Ha-Rav Mordechai Eliezer Weber, that this is the explanation of the talmudic statement "The Land of Israel comes through suffering that the suffering hints to us to awaken ourselves to return to the Land of Israel,"[107] and Rabbi Meir Shapira of Lublin.[108]

5. The great authorities of Israel wrote that the horrors of the Exile come upon us when we do not ascend to the Land of Israel, they include Ha-Rav Yaacov Tzvi Emden,[109] Ha-Rav Yehudah Alkalai[110] and similarly the Rokeach.[111]

6. The Shelah wrote that the goal of the fiery furnace is to clarify that this is a mitzvah to ascend to the Land of Israel.[112]

7. The great authorities already warned, that if we do not ascend on our own to the Land of Israel, the matter will come through horrors and destruction, they include Rabbi Simchah Bunem of Pshischa[113] that it is incumbent upon us to ascend to the Land of Israel on our own and not wait to be struck by a rod, and Rabbi Meir Simchah of Dvinsk[114] similarly wrote that Hashem will clarify by a blow of fury that Berlin is not Jerusalem. And the Netziv[115] and the Gra wrote that it is incumbent upon us to choose the path of the of the Revealed End of returning to Zion and then there would not have been a need for our Sages to warn us regarding a king whose decrees would be worse than Haman,[116] "and almost every day our Rabbi spoke to us in trembling and emotion that in Zion and Jerusalem there will be a refuge, do not delay the appointed time. Who can recount and who can describe the magnitude of concern of our Rabbi in his relating to us these types of matters in his holy spirit and tears in his eyes."[117] In the year 5693 (1933), ten years before the destruction of Europe, when the oppressors of the Jews, may their name be blotted out, rose to power, the Chafetz Chaim said that the remaining refugee camp would be in the Land of Israel.[118]

Our master Ha-Rav Kook wrote: "Come to the Land of Israel, pleasant brothers, come to the Land of Israel, save your souls, the soul of your generations, the soul of our entire Nation..."[119]

8. And our Rabbi Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah wrote that the Holocaust is the divorce document with the Exile which appears together with our Redemption.[120]




Bibliography of quotes selected from Rabbi Aviner's book


100. At the end of Iggeret Kiddush Hashem (Edition of Mossad Ha-Rav Kook pg. 66) that it is forbidden to remain in the land there in which there are decrees, "But those who deceive themselves and say that they should stay in their place until the King Messiah comes to the Land of the West [and then they will] leave and go to Jerusalem - I do not know how this persecution will be nullified for them. Rather they are violators and cause others to sin."

101. That after there was a famine in the Land, our forefather Avraham decided on his own that this is the will of The Holy One, Blessed be He, that he should descend to Egypt even though the Divine command was to settle in the Land (To'aliyot Ha-Ralbag, Parashat Lech Lecha, Bereshit 12:10). And all the more so to abandon the Exile and to ascend to the Land (Em Ha-Banim Semeichah pp. 160-161).

102. "That if there are harsh decrees in the Land of Israel one should sacrifice his life for settling the Land which is not the case of one who dwells outside of the Land in a place of decrees, he is liable to the death penalty if he does not go to another country" (Zait Ra'anan on Yalkut Shemoni Yitro 292. Em Ha-Banim Semeichah pp. 106-107).

103. Who wrote that The Holy One, Blessed be He, promised us that we would sit in tranquility and with ample livelihood in the Exile (Parashat Ki Tavo, Devarim 28:38), and if so, when the non-Jews take all of the benefits of life from us, it is as if The Holy One, Blessed be He, is saying: "I pulled my hand away from you from further promising your settlement in the Exile, but you should arise and come to your mother's chest" (Em Ha-Banim Semeichah pp. 160, 239).

104. For The Holy One, Blessed be He, brought distress upon Machlon and Kilyon for approximately ten years in order to warn them to return to the Land of Israel (Tanchuma Behar #3. Em Ha-Banim Semeichah pg. 159).

105. For the force of the distress is to bring us to the Land of Israel (Derashah for Parashat Parah. Em Ha-Banim Semeichah pg. 86).

106. "Any time that the sounds, cries and screams of the harsh decrees are heard, God forbid, every person's heart should burn to build the Holy City" (Shemot 9:33. Em Ha-Banim Semeichah pg. 228).

107. The introduction of the book "Erech Dal" on Arachin. Em Ha-Banim Semeichah pp. 161, 231. And ibid., that the purpose of this bitter Exile is to awaken us for the Land of Israel (pp. 245-246).

108. "Now I know why you are against ascending and building the Land, since any time that you eat 'lichtiga fish' ['fish of light' which Chasidim eat at Seudah Shelishit while it is still day] the Land of Israel is not an imperative for you. But on account of our great sins, the great majority of Israel only eats 'finsatara fish' ['fish of darkness' - which Chasidim eat at Seudah Shelishit when it becomes night]" (related in Em Ha-Banim Semeichah pg. 225). And he wrote similarly that the actions of the fathers are a sign for the children for Yaacov swore at a time of distress "And I will return in peace to my father's house." It is written in the Midrash that The Holy One, Blessed be He, takes the words of the fathers and makes them a key for the redemption of the children, a hint of the footsteps of the Messiah (Sefer Divrei Emet Parashat Va-yetze. Em Ha-Banim Semeichah pg. 31).

109. "Do not consider remaining rooted outside the Land...this was the sin of our forefathers...and it is what kept us in our bitter Exile because not only one person arose upon us to destroy us but in each and every generation...and we were persecuted it seems to us when we were in tranquility outside of Israel that we found the Land of Israel [on] a different level, therefore all of the tragedies come upon us when Israel was dwelling in the Land of Spain and other lands..." (Siddur Beit Yaacov, introduction, 13). "And if only this sin had been in our my view it is the closest reason, revealed, powerful and strong, for all of the horrible, great and unprecedented persecutions, which astonishes the mind, which we have experienced in Exile" (ibid.). And see below footnote 178.

110. "Since Israel was not awakened to return to our Land and the inheritance of our forefathers, the decrees began, the expulsion and persecutions, because the matter is dependent on repentance - that they return to the Land of Israel" (Kol Korei from the year 5608 [1848]).

111. For the persecutions of Warsaw came because they thought they lived in the little Jerusalem. See below in the end of footnote 156.

112. Shelah volume 3, chelek Torah Shebichtav, 11:2 (Em Ha-Banim Semeichah pg. 330).

113. For there are two ways to acquire an animal: call it and it follows after him, or strike a stick and it runs before him. And thus we have to ascend to the Land of Israel of our own accord, and not to wait until Hashem strikes us by means of a stick (Em Ha-Banim Semeichah pg. 88).

114. "...and the Jew...will think that Berlin is Jerusalem...then a stormy and rushing wind will come, it will uproot us from its trunk..." (Meshech Chochmah Bechukotai pg. 192). "A stormy wind will arise, and spread out its many waves, and destroy, lay waste, ruin, wash away without mercy" (pg. 191).

115. For during the three days of darkness all those who did not want to leave Egypt died, "And all of this is incumbent upon us to remember that also at this time that many of Israel refuse the future Redemption [occurring] quickly in our days, but The Holy One, Blessed be He, will rule over us with a strong hand" (Haggadah of Pesach on the verse "And Hashem brought us out...with a strong hand").

116. Kol Ha-Tur chapter 4 #3.

117. Kol Ha-Tur end of chapter 5. And similarly "And there will be a refugee in Zion and Jerusalem and for the remnants, and that is sufficient wisdom. And our Rabbi was extremely worried regarding this" (ibid. Chapter 1 #10). And Rabbi Moshe bar Hillel of Shaklov: "The matter of this prophecy, in Zion and Jerusalem will be a refugee, caused extreme worry to our Rabbi, the Gra, that according to this the footsteps of the Messiah were coming that the ingathering of the Exile would come by way of the refugee, which means out of the necessity of distress and decrees, and only the remnant of the survivors would arrive to Zion and Jerusalem" (Magid Doresh Tzion vol. 2 pg. 71. Ha-Tekufah Ha-Gedolah pg. 446). And Rabbi Sa'adia of Mohliv, a student of the Gra, reported that when the Gra spoke about this, tears flowed from his eyes, and he said "We must hope that the ingathering of the Exiles will be by our own will and not by means of distress of a refugee" (ibid. footnote 33. Ha-Tekufah Ha-Gedolah ibid.).

118. As it is written (Ovadiah 1:17) "And there will be a refugee on Mt. Zion and it will be holy" - and therefore it was ensured that our Land of Holiness will rescue (Chafetz Chaim pg. 73. Ha-Tekufah Ha-Gedolah pg. 198).

119. "Keriyot Gedolot - Le-Eretz Yisrael." And Ha-Rav of Onsdorf said [in Yiddish]: Woe, I see that God forbid the Jews can not remain here, in these countries, and they will be forced to flee. There will be nowhere to flee. Why do they not see to build the settlement in the Land of Israel?" (Em Ha-Banim Semeichah pg. 25).

120. "Hashem's hand extends over us, from the midst of bloodshed, fiery furnaces, agony of suffering, kindling of fires, sacrificing of souls, which with the taking of land of the Exile and the removal of the Divine Presence from it, also brings us by our forelock, and places us in the heights of our theater of operations" (Le-Netivot Yisrael pg. [61] 81). "And the extension of Hashem's hand over us in a pouring out of His anger, to remove us from the impurities of the lands of the Nations and the dispersions of our Exiles in the midst of their the annihilation of a third of our body and its choice part" (ibid. pg. [94] 123). "The dreadful chapter of the Divine dissection in the body of the Nation with the annihilation of our six million, an important part, in a way of lifting us to our place" (ibid. pg. [110] 147). "The departure from the desert of the Nations...with the inconceivable horrible and dreadful dissection-severance of hundred of thousands, may the remembrance of the holy ones be a blessing, may Hashem revenge their blood, and cause to enter for the settlement of the Land" (ibid. pg. [134] 179). "The ingathering of our exiles and entrance of our scattered to the Place of our Life, with their horrible uprooting of the dispersions and the scattering" (ibid. pg. [182] 247). "With the completion of the collapse of the land of the Exile from under our feet...with the fulfillment of the word of Hashem that 'Among these Nations we will not find tranquility and our feet will not find rest'..." (ibid. pg. [52] 69). "The storm of severance of the body of the Entirety of Israel from the deserts of the Nations" (ibid. pg. [80] 105). "The complete actual arising, of the announcement that 'Among these Nations we will not find tranquility,' came with taking the portion of the land from our presence there" (ibid. pg. [61] 80). "In the essence of the full collapse, the complete uprooting, the final severance, for all of the Community of Israel's agony of upheaval from its reality among the Nations and their lands, of its bodies and its souls, of its adults and its youths, of its possession and its culture, of its physical and its spiritual, of its holy and its profane - it is the appearance of the light of life and the revival of the Nation of Holiness and the splendor of its eternity" (ibid. pg. [102-103] 135).

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